The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus whick¡h causes an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in cats.
The feline immunodeficiency virus appears to human immunodeficiency virus (VIH),but are species specific, and FIV only affects cats and VIH only affects humans.
What causes FIV?
FIV is a virus that affects the white blood cells, which are blood cells that are responsible for the defense of our organism. This virus cause a damage in these cells and they can’t perform their function. This immunosupression leads to opportunistic infections with bacterial, fungal or portozoal agents or cancer cell growth.
Affected animals have a higher risk of infections and tumors.
How do cats get FIV?
Infectious virus is found in the salva of FIV positive cats and transmissions occurs though inoculation of the virus though saliva or blood.
The FIV is transmitted primarily by the biting that occurs in catfights. Most cats become infected with FIV when they are bitten while fighting with an infected cat. The virus, present in the saliva of infected cats, passes beneath the skin of the victim when it is bitten. Once it is in the body, FIV infects cells, replicates, and spreads to new sites via blood vessels and lymph channels. Most FIV-positive cats have a history of catfights and bite-wound abscesses. Considering that bites are the primary mode of transmission, it is not surprising that cats at greatest risk of FIV infection are outdoor, adult males, who are most likely to engage in aggressive fights over territory.
Is relatively common in unneutered male cats who live outdoors.
Vertical transmision is possible transplacentally or via infected milk.
Is there a treatment or vaccine for FIV?
There is no treatment for the virus. As people with VIH are substances immunomodulatory and antiviral drugs that have been successful in studies of infected cats.
The basis of treatment is to prevent and, if they appear, controlling infections with long term antibiotic treatment.
It is also very important do a balanced nutrition, strict parasite control (fleas, ticks, intestinal worms) and good routine vaccination.
How I can know if my cat is positive?
If you want to know if your cat is positive you can go to your vet to do a blood test.
Is there a vaccine for FIV?
A vaccine in the U.S. but no data on its effectiveness.
How I can prevent my cat from getting infected?
If your cat lives alone at home and has no access to the outside is not at risk of infection.
If you have several cats at home should test all cats. If it detects a positive cat should be isolated but the risk of transmission by grooming or feed is very low.
If your cat has access to outdoors should avoid contact with other cats.